South East Dance Surf the Wave

Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) are hosts to the ambitious national programme Surf the Wave which seeks to achieve a step change in dance programming by forging closer links and networks amongst artists and programmers. The project runs from 2017 to 2020 over three distinct phases and from 16 – 19 May, PDSW staged the highpoint of phase 2; the UK Dance Showcase in venues across Bournemouth and Poole. A total of 43 artists and companies presented work to over 200 delegates including South East Dance’s Artistic Director, Cath James, Executive Director, Rachel Gibson and Senior Artist Producer, Lou Rogers.

It was an exhilarating four days with back to back performances, workshops, and discussions along with a few social events that of course, involved a fair bit of dancing. 

Cath James shared her thoughts on the highpoints, important conversations that took place and the ambitions of South East Dance in relation to the project.

“The diversity of content was remarked upon by delegates as was the quality of performances and the range of venues and context, all of which I was pleased about having been part of the curatorial committee.

In terms of performances, I really loved the outdoor work from Mickael Marso Riviere which was so exciting and totally relevant for local visitors to Bournemouth pier, especially young people. Artists from the south east were well represented with Liz Aggiss having quite an impact, as always.

The panel discussion on work for Children and Families was a lively and important one because working with this group can be a brilliant way to reach audiences new to dance. We will be announcing a groundbreaking project that builds on this idea next month - so watch this space!”

Two important funding opportunities were also announced which will support people to develop the connections they’ve made over the weekend and create new ones. The Showcase Legacy will support programmers to explore new ways of working with artists and producers, and the potential for touring work to help develop audiences in a wider range of venues and locations. The Go See Bursary will provide a welcome stream of funding to enhance the breadth of work programmers can experience. As Choreographer Jo Fong was heard to say, it was “One enormous conversation between so many who care about dance and the arts. Glimpses of a positive future for dance, diversity on stages, female makers and bloomin well having a good dance!”

South East Dance Surf the Wave